By Christopher Lee
Accompanies major BBC Radio 4 Series
Published by BBC Audiobooks
Contains 6 CDs
Duration : 7 hours 30 mins
The original ground-breaking series of Christopher Lee's This Sceptred Isle was a compelling, continuous narrative, from the arrival of the Romans to the end of the twentieth century.
The new series, This Sceptred Isle: Empire, published in three volumes, explains how Britain, through trading in such commodities as sugar, spice - and slaves - built the biggest empire the world had ever known.
At one time a quarter of the global land mass was under British rule; so whatever the day, whatever the hour, the sun never set on the Empire.
Volume 2 covers the period 1783-1876, when Britain had the biggest empire the world has ever known. At one time a quarter of the global land mass was British. Over a third of the world was insured at Lloyds. At his coronation, more than 400 million people saluted George V.
Truly, the sun never set on this historical phenomenon.
Whatever the day, whatever the hour, somewhere on the globe, the empire worked and played up and played the British game - often absurdly so.
The story of the British Empire is one of enormous personalities, adventure, scientific and maritime development and the building of one of the most complex international administrations the world has ever seen.
The series shows the history of exploration from the 16th century, but more importantly from the mid-18th century to the period shortly before the First World War.
Narrated by Juliet Stevenson with the additional voices of Denis Lawson, Christopher Eccleston, Hugo Speer, Jemma Redgrave, Vincent Ebrahim, David Yip and Ben Onwukee, this is an informative, engaging and fascinating insight into the rise - and eventual fall - of the British Empire.
The series is currently being broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
About Christopher Lee:
Christopher Lee began his working life by "running away to sea" in an old tramp ship and after nearly two years sailing round the world he returned to England and night school to start his formal education.
In the 1980s he was the highly respected Defence and Foreign Affairs Correspondent for BBC Radio 4, covering the Cold War period, the Thatcher years and Moscow.
Christopher left the BBC to become the first Quatercentenary Research Fellow and later the Gomes Lecturer at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
He is a script-writer and creator of more than ninety BBC Radio plays and comedies and editor of several books on defence and cricket, and novels such as the Bath Detective trilogy.